noun prep·o·si·tion \ˌpre-pə-ˈzi-shən\

grammar : a word or group of words that is used with a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase to show direction, location, or time, or to introduce an object

Full Definition of PREPOSITION

:  a function word that typically combines with a noun phrase to form a phrase which usually expresses a modification or predication
prep·o·si·tion·al \-ˈzish-nəl, -ˈzi-shə-nəl\ adjective
prep·o·si·tion·al·ly adverb


  1. The preposition on in The keys are on the table shows location.
  2. The preposition in in The movie starts in one hour shows time.


Middle English preposicioun, from Anglo-French preposicion, from Latin praeposition-, praepositio, from praeponere to put in front, from prae- pre- + ponere to put — more at position
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile
PREPOSITION Defined for Kids


noun prep·o·si·tion \ˌpre-pə-ˈzi-shən\

Definition of PREPOSITION for Kids

:  a word or group of words that combines with a noun or pronoun to form a phrase that usually acts as an adverb, adjective, or noun <“With” in “the house with the red door” is a preposition.>


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